Friday, April 19, 2019

How to Use SOUND As a Defensive Deterrent


by J.G. Martinez D., The Organic Prepper:

Sounds around us is one of the ways Mother Nature has to warn us, attract us to something, and for humans during these so-called modern times, enjoy and relax. It can be a very powerful tool.

Psychological operations warfare specialists know about this. A lot of tools and technologies have been weaponized, we all know that. Most of them are kept under secrecy, some other ones have been available for the public. The power of sound should not be underestimated and should be handled with care. Sound can break glass or even cause permanent injuries.

Caveat Emptor, dear fellows.

Planetary Collapse Threatens Our Survival: A New Study Says That More Than 1,200 Species “Will Almost Certainly Face Extinction”


by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:

We are witnessing a worldwide environmental collapse, and nobody seems to know how to stop it.  As you will see below, a study that was just released that looked at more than 5,000 species of birds, mammals and amphibians discovered that nearly a quarter of them “will almost certainly face extinction”.  Never before has our society faced such a massive collapse of life on a planetary scale, and yet the vast majority of the population doesn’t seem concerned about what is happening.  Species after species is being permanently wiped out, and most of us couldn’t care less.

Preparedness Author Michael Mabee Warns of Grid Threats: “It is not enough to be the only prepared family”


by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

In the U.S. we are literally on life support, plugged into the electric grid. If somebody unplugs us, everything necessary to sustain life stops: food, water, fuel, transportation, medical care, communications, financial – everything.

The grid is vulnerable to numerous threats. The U.S. Senate said that in a long-term nation-wide blackout, millions of citizens could die. After a few weeks, we would die in droves from waterborne diseases, starvation, and societal collapse. What if the grid went down for longer than a few weeks?

Student-Made Sustainable Tiny House Represents New American Dream


by Brianna Acuesta, True Activist:

College students created this beautiful tiny home.

Every year, students from California State University, Sacramento’s STORC school get to work on projects that pave a way to a more sustainable and technological future. Most years, students working in the the Sustainable Technology Optimization Research Center (STORC) build a tiny house from scratch, which is an incredible feat. Even more impressive is their commitment to create the house with the latest technologies to make sure that the structure uses as little energy as possible.

This year, students from STORC built a beautiful tiny house that includes solar panels to power the electricity as well as a solar-powered water heater to heat the 20-gallon water tank. The 400-square-foot house, which has wheels affixed to it for mobile functioning, allows dwellers to live as off-the-grid as possible as they embark on their self-selected journey. The solar panels can be seen on the roof as well as on one side of the structure so that ample electricity is generated.

Beginning with the exterior of the home, the structure is a light grey on the outside with darker cedar panels to complement the light color.The home’s entrance features two wide french doors that open outwards so that ample room is maintained within the house. The warm cedar panels are seen throughout the structure, even on the interior, where the paint color changes to a beautiful blue. In tiny homes, colors and interior choices are crucial to the well-being of the dwellers and the feel of the space because everything can be seen at once. The wrong color choice could cause the home to feel cramped rather than open, thereby making a dweller feel claustrophobic or uncomfortable.

With a full toilet, bathtub and shower, the bathroom contains features that are literally as good as it gets. Large windows, including a bay window that opens out where the stovetop is, fill the space with natural light and provide cross-ventilation that allows for the elements to enter and exit so that the house doesn’t become too warm or too cold. Hidden in a corner, there’s a mechanical well that provides monitoring for the home’s electricity and water usage.

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« Preparedness Notes for Sunday – October 01, 2017Letter: The Three Greatest Threats To Our Mutual Survival » Essential Survival Tips From A Hurricane Irma Survivor, by C.S.


by Hugh James Latimer, Survival Blog:

At the time I began writing this, Hurricane Irma had hit only eight days earlier. From it and other hurricane experiences, I have learned some valuable lessons. The first is, use your head. No, do not use it to hammer the shutters down. What I mean is, use some common sense.

Demonstrating a Lack of Reasoning

Here are some things that happened here in South Florida that demonstrated a lack of reasoning:

  • A guy burned down his house because he wasn’t careful while pouring gas in his generator that was running. The spillage later caught on fire, torching his entire hacienda.
  • My girlfriend forgot to take a shower right before the hurricane hit. On the fifth day without water or a bath, she sprayed Febreze all over her body. She’s now waiting for recovery from the repercussions of that move.
  • A guy waited until the last minute to put his hurricane shutters up on the second floor. The wind gusts blew over the ladder, and he died.
  • People spent lots of money on huge amounts of bottled water and then discovered they had no food.
  • Many people stayed in the Keys. They stayed even after they were ordered to evacuate.
  • I saw this guy on the news looking for shells in the Tampa Bay, where the water had just been sucked out to sea.

Common Sense Survival Tips

  • Don’t wait until the last minute to leave town, because there’s going to be a million other people doing the same thing. Three days before is pretty good, preferably in the middle of the night.
  • Make sure you have a paper map in your car. Do you know, those old-fashioned pieces of paper with different colored lines printed on them? Newsflash: Your GPS won’t get you anywhere when the cell phones don’t work.
  • Cell phones do not work after a hurricane, even if you have battery. Text messages will work, though I’m not sure why.
  • Don’t put “big Xs” of masking tape on your windows. Not only will it look stupid but you won’t be able to get it off when the sun bakes the adhesive to the window. It won’t help to prevent your windows from blowing out.
  • Get an off-road SUV that carries stuff. You can’t get much of what you expect to ever own again in a Mini-Cooper. Plus, with millions of people on the same road, you may need to do some creative driving.
  • Take the back roads. Use your paper map. Sleep in the day. Drive during the night. Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.
  • Don’t stay in a mobile home. It’s literally like standing outside during the hurricane.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to get gas. Many people waited in line for the whole day and got nothing.
  • You don’t need a million paper towels. Use real towels. You can actually hand wash them in tap water!
  • Baby wipes are good alternatives to showers.
  • Don’t buy bottled water and then throw empty plastic jugs out to the street. Save all plastic bottles and put water in them. Freeze the bottles and turn your refrigerator into a cooler. This will save you from frantically going out to look for more bottled water or buying ice and then complaining you have no money.
  • Don’t run the generator in your house. You’ll fall asleep and never wake up. It’s called carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Don’t open your windows during a hurricane, thinking you need a breeze to break the humidity or that you need to let the house “breathe” or relieve pressure. Doing so will result in a panoramic sky-view of the storm, as your roof will fly off.
  • Turn your air conditioning down to as cold as possible, a couple of days before you lose power. It takes that long to get super cold. Then when you lose power, it will take a couple of days to get back to normal. This way you don’t die of heat exhaustion on day one.
  • Feeling too cold? Suit up! Drag out those winter sweatshirts and sweatpants. Wear layers, baby. It’s the style!
  • Your power is more likely to go out than the water pipes breaking.
  • Don’t drive in water where you can’t see the bottom. Not only may you anger some alligators but your car could get stuck in the water. The alligators may then eat you. Or, you could just sit on the roof of your car for a week until the water subsides. Ditto to snakes.
  • After the storm, don’t open your door to anyone who says they are FEMA or the electric company. They will stick a gun in your face and then it’ll be “bye-bye” to all your stuff that the hurricane didn’t take.
  • Don’t go walking in puddles after the storm. Water is conductive of electricity, and power lines are down all over the place. ZAP!

Past Florida Hurricanes, Like Andrew

I have been through a few hurricanes here in Florida. However, for me, this one was the mother of all. I was in Miami’s Hurricane Andrew in the outer bands but was allowed into the worst damaged area right after the storm. This was the case because my husband was an insurance adjuster.

He was not a homeowner’s insurance adjuster but an automobile claims adjuster. However, the insurance companies were so desperate for insurance adjusters that if you had an insurance license for anything, you were told to strap a ladder to your car roof and go into the belly of the beast.

What I saw was staggering. There were huge, uprooted trees lying flat over roads, making access to homes impossible. Thirty-foot high mounds of tree branches and unrecognizable debris were all over. FUBAR was everywhere you looked.

People had their roofs blown off, with the harsh sun beating down on them. They were found wading around their homes in knee-high deep water acting dazed and zombie-like.

Prepare To Defend Property

I learned that you need to be prepared for a hurricane. Then you need to be prepared to defend your property.

A girlfriend who was in the eye of Hurricane Andrew saw her couch fly out the window as she ran into an adjacent room. Afterward, her husband slept for short periods of time in his running truck for two weeks, just to feel some cool air during the day. He stayed up all night, sitting by the front door with a shotgun.

Hurricane Irma- Andrew On Steroids

Hurricane Irma was like Andrew on steroids.  Everyone was/is affected, and most people were affected significantly.

A friend showed us a picture yesterday of a famous bar in the Upper Keys that is there no more. The roof is sitting on the sand, and the building is gone.

The Keys

As of now, no one is allowed into the Keys. I heard that just yesterday they started to open up some of Highway 1. There are still many trees down, covering the only road to get there. The military is using tanks to plow over fallen trees, in order to get to the people who ignored the evacuation order. All of the Keys is supposedly destroyed. Some people are living in tents outside of their homes. If they managed to salvage a tent.

And everyone knows that the east side of the hurricane is the “dirty” side. In this case, it could spawn hundreds and maybe thousands of tornadoes.

Natural Disaster Like Going Through Boot Camp

Going through a natural disaster like Hurricane Irma is like going through boot camp. At least that’s the closest analogy I can think of, having not actually been through boot camp. It tests and uses up every fiber of your emotional and physical strength, to the last drop, and then it squeezes out a few more drops.

I had this dream before the storm. It was of those biblical guys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, not burning in the furnace they were thrown into.  I felt like I went into an oven and came out alive. Really.

Physical Stress

There is incredible physical stress. I could only sleep three hours a night and could barely eat. I couldn’t even eat a whole yogurt. Don’t worry about that diet you were on. You won’t even remember to eat. I lost five pounds in one week.

Emotional Stress

Then there’s the emotional stress of a Cat 5 Hurricane headed right toward you, only an hour away. Lucky for me, it turned due east in the last moments. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this story.

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Winter Survival: Practical Preps for an Emergency Bug Out


by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

“I got to, got to, got to, get away…turn me loose, baby.” –  Jimi Hendrix, “Stone Free”

Yes, ReadyNutrition guys and gals, there comes a time when you just “got to get away,” so to speak.  This doesn’t mean to the sands of (what used to be) St. Bart’s.  This means “E&E,” or “Escape and Evasion,” as we used to call it in the Army.  But what if your car is not working because of an EMP…and you have two feet of snow on the ground?  What if you have a sheet of ice so thick on the ground that the Olympic Hockey Team could practice on it?  The “suck” factor will be high, and the adrenaline will be pumping.  You have to get out of there.  Are you prepared?

You can be.  Firstly, let’s refresh a few things that have been mentioned already.  You have your BOB (your happy “Bug-Out Bag”) if you wish to call it that.  It should be packed and ready in your vehicle.

And at this stage of the game, you should have already switched off for your winter needs, as we covered in numerous articles before.

You need both a Gore-Tex top and bottom for extreme cold weather.  First things first!  What are you facing?  If it’s the ice, you need a pair of Yak-Trak’s or Crepons (like these) to place upon your feet with metal spikes on the bottom to give you some traction.  Yes, these guys will run you about 30 to 40 bucks, and it’s well worth it.  The rubber harness that holds either springs or spikes/metal cleats are durable and will last you for more than a couple seasons if you use them regularly.

Remember JJ’s principle of redundancy: You use one pair for daily use, and the other pair you “squirrel” away for an emergency.

You don’t want to have that everyday pair break down right at the critical moment.  According to Murphy’s Law, what can go wrong will go wrong.  You can even the odds if you buy two of each item…one for regular use and one for emergency/backup.  OK, so you have just emerged from the car and ran across a large deserted parking lot full of ice to the woods.  At the tree line, you notice that the snow has drifted to a depth of a foot and a half.

Next on the agenda is a pair of snowshoes.  Now, depending on where you live, you may need a really good pair…the kind that is about 32-36” in length.  For your immediate getaway and for lightness and convenience, there is an alternative to carry with your backpack.  Snowshoes used by utility men and electrical linemen.

These guys are made out of really durable plastic…the kind that a nuclear weapon might have a hard time melting.  Just joking, there, but you see the point.  These snowshoes are more compact and are usually a bright orange color.  Some plastic surface bonding spray paint will take care of that.  They make them orange so that in the course of their work when they set them down they won’t lose them.  It makes sense.  Now you’ll have to adapt them to your use and purpose.

They’ll slip over the top of your shoes/boots, and can be adjusted with straps.  They work.  There’s a lot of different kinds.  I prefer the ones that are a little more “rounded” than the rest, so they resemble a large tennis racket head.  This gives you plenty of surface area.  Throw them on and take them off later with ease.  These will run you about $30, but you can find them in your second-hand stores if you search hard enough.

Lastly, how about a toboggan?  Yeah, sounds stupid, I know…until you realize you would like to haul some stuff with you away from your now-worthless SUV that the EMP has fried.  The toboggan I’m referring to is basically a plastic sheet (the tougher the better) with two holes located at the top…yeah, a kid’s toy.

Until you have jerks shooting at you and you need to go down a long stretch of hill.  Or until you have about 50 lbs. of stuff you don’t want to leave with the vehicle.

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5 Food-Medicines That Could Quite Possibly Save Your Life

by Arjun Walia, Collective Evolution:

  • The Facts:This article was written by Sayer Ji, Founder of where it originally appeared. Posted here with permission.
  • Reflect On:How come doctors receive no education in nutrition when it is so important to human health?

Some of the most powerful medicines on the planet are masquerading around as foods and spices. While they do not lend themselves to being patented, nor will multi-billion dollar human clinical trials ever be funded to prove them efficacious, they have been used since time immemorial to both nourish our bodies, and to prevent and treat disease.

Where Should a Prepper’s Retreat Be Located? Here’s What I Learned in Venezuela


by J. G. Martinez D., The Organic Prepper:

Where should your prepper’s retreat be located? This is not an issue that could be explained easily in one article. Or in a book, think. However, I will do my best.

What was my motivation to write about this? Because I was very concerned about what was going on (logically) and the situation of my parents. However, they seem to be coping well, with the scarce money I can send them. Their needs are not that much, and they have kept themselves healthy, with a diet that includes lots of tropical fruits like pineapples, papayas, watermelon, bananas and the vegetables available year around.

Here’s How You’ll Die When the SHTF (and How to Prevent Your Untimely Demise)


by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

When it hits the fan…I mean REALLY hits the fan in a permanent kind of way, the most likely outcome is death.

That’s not pretty, and I’m well aware of it. I always try to be positive and optimistic, because for me, preparedness is the ultimate act of optimism, but sometimes we have to look at the numbers and face some things that are pretty terrifying. The first reality check is that some research says that only 3 million Americans are preppers.  That means that 315 million Americans are not preppers. Some experts predict that within 30 days of the power going out, 50% of Americans will be dead. Within a year, an astounding 90% of the population will be dead.

A Collection of Thoughts on Survival


by Sven, SurvivalBlog:

There is a number of thoughts and observations I’ve had that seemed worth passing on to SurvivalBlog readers, but most of them weren’t long enough to merit full articles. Hopefully, everyone can find at least one thing here that they hadn’t considered yet.

Wool Blankets

Wool blankets are heavier than down or synthetic sleeping bags but are lifetimes more durable and fire resistant. You should have both wool blankets for when weight is not a concern and regular sleeping bags for fast, light trips.

Knives– Serrated or Not

Knives with serrations require special tools to sharpen. Consider using only knives without serrations while in the field so that you need only one stone.

Sharpening Stone

A sharpening stone is a must for your kit/BOB. Knives and axes that are in use will dull quickly, which can make them unusable in precision applications. So, you’ll need to stone to keep them sharp.


Stick to Common Firearms Rounds

There are many different firearms cartridges available– some old, some new. Instead of debating what the absolute best cartridges are, stick to common rounds, as these are what are most likely to be available in the long run if there was a restriction on ammo. Some of the more obscure rounds may be tempting for various reasons, but you may run up against logistical problems. For instance, I think the Swedish 6.5×55 is the perfect deer round. But how much luck do you think I would have finding that round when all the stores close? It’s difficult enough to find now. I suspect there may be many ad hoc survival groups that form after a SHTF event. We used to call these organic groups “tribes” or “communities.” Consider the advantages of being able to share ammo with others if needed.

Water Proof Containers

Water proof containers are an underappreciated modern technology. If you’re outside for any length of time, everything will get wet eventually. Tupperwaregarbage bags, and small plastic bags can go far towards keeping matches, sleeping bags, your Bible, changes of socks, et cetera dry, when not in use. A favorite item of mine is the clear one-gallon storage bag that can be tied at the top. I find Ziploc bags too prone too coming open when stuffed in a backpack.

Soap, Dry Wool Socks, and Sturdy Wool Clothes Protect From Dangers

It’s exciting to prepare for dangers like marauding biker gangs, but there are plenty of things that are just as likely to get you that are anything but action movie material. These are things like diarrhea, trench foot, and hypothermia. Soap, dry wool socks and sturdy wool clothes may save your life every bit as much as your trusty 1911 or Glock.

Firearms and Preps

If you have far more than the basic battery of firearms, while the other crucial areas of your preps lack, you may want to reevaluate how you are using your resources. If your basic firearms needs are met, and you’re squared away in other areas of preps, consider using the extra money to buy duplicates of the firearms you already have, extra ammunition (no such thing), or training courses.

Convenient MREs

MREs can be handy. They come in water-proof packaging, have a shelf life as long as a human’s, are packed with calories, and contain their own apparatus for heating. But they’re also expensive and extremely heavy while on foot. Consider carefully where MREs figure into your total nutrition plan.

Implicit Survival Group

A survival group can be implicit rather than explicit. Be friends with serious, capable people, and strive to be a serious, capable person yourself.

People Skills = Survival Skills

People skills are survival skills. Like all survival skills, now is the best time to practice. If you’re a difficult person to get along with right now, how much more will people dislike you under the extreme pressures of survival situations?

Surviving the Boredom

Don’t underestimate the boredom that can set it in, especially during the winter months, even with the all consuming business of survival taking up most of your time. Have plenty of family-friendly books on hand that are good for reading out loud. Simple games and musical instruments would be nice morale boosters, too.

Light Gear That Works Well Wet But Is Bright and Susceptible to Damage

REI, North Face, Patagonia, et cetera make some of the lightest gear around that still works well even when wet. Unfortunately, this type of outdoors gear is very susceptible to damage during work or when traveling off trail through thick brush. Also, it is often made only in very bright colors, which is not ideal for the prepper who wants to lay low.

Cotton Kills

While we’re on the subject of clothing: no cotton for extended outdoor trips ever, or “cotton kills” as some outdoors men say. It will get wet and give you hypothermia. Desert and southern climes might be the exception.

Military Surplus Clothing

Your mileage may vary with military surplus clothing. It is usually made very durably and in camo or earth tones. However, it can be very heavy and sometimes cotton based. It can be had inexpensively at many thrift stores though, so keep some around. I’m a huge fan of wool because it is durable and warm even after absorbing lots of water. Best of all, European military surplus wool shirts, coats, and pants are widely available and of high quality. Just make sure you have some good long underwear to go with it. Wool is itchy.

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Budget Food and Sundries Storage – Pt. 1, by Pete Thorsen


by Pete Thorsen, Survival Blog:

Food storage is a very important part of any preparedness, and thoughts on food storage vary widely. Some people store buckets of wheat, corn, beans, and rice. For many people, they would only know what to do with maybe the rice. With the prepper/survivalist fad right now many companies are selling long term storage (LTS) food.

Some of these LTS foods are just as is, so to speak, like beans or wheat. Some are dehydrated, and some are freeze dried. And of course, some is your standard canned goods. Advice commonly given is ‘store what you eat and eat what you store.’ That is very sound advice. What they mean is buy stuff that you normally eat and then always eat the oldest item first, so you rotate through your stored food supply.



by Andy Greenberg, Wired:

YOUR DIGITAL SECURITY, any sufficiently paranoid personwill remind you, is only as good as your physical security. The world’s most sensitive users of technology, like dissidents, activists, or journalists in repressive regimes, have to fear not just hacking and online surveillance, but the reality that police, intelligence agents, or other intruders can simply break into your home, office, or hotel room. They can tamper with your computers, steal them, or bodily detain you until you cough up passwords or other secrets.

To help combat that threat, one of the world’s most well-known activists against digital surveillance has released what’s intended to be a cheap, mobile, and flexible version of a physical security system. On Friday, the Freedom of the Press Foundation and its president, famed NSA leaker Edward Snowden, launched Haven, an app designed to transform any Android phone into a kind of all-purpose sensor for detecting intrusions.

Haven uses your phone’s sensors to monitor for changes in sound, light, and movement.


Safe Haven

Designed to be installed on a cheap Android burner, Haven uses the phone’s cameras, microphones and even accelerometers to monitor for any motion, sound or disturbance of the phone. Leave the app running in your hotel room, for instance, and it can capture photos and audio of anyone entering the room while you’re out, whether an innocent housekeeper or an intelligence agent trying to use his alone time with your laptop to install spyware on it. It can then instantly send pictures and sound clips of those visitors to your primary phone, alerting you to the disturbance. The app even uses the phone’s light sensor to trigger an alert if the room goes dark, or an unexpected flashlight flickers.

“Imagine if you had a guard dog you could take with you to any hotel room and leave it in your room when you’re not there. And it’s actually smart, and it witnesses everything that happens and creates a record of it,” Snowden said in an encrypted phone call with WIRED from Moscow, where he has lived in exile since 2013. “The real idea is to establish that the physical spaces around you can be trusted.”

Since he became the director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation in early 2016, Snowden has led a small team of programmers and technologists working on security tools. The projects so far range from software that only allows secrets to be decrypted if a group of collaborators combine their secret keys, to a hardware modification for the iPhonethat’s designed to detect if malware on the device is secretly transmitting a user’s data.

The ‘Evil Maid’ Problem

The notion of a smartphone-based alarm system arose when Micah Lee, a technologist at the news outlet The Interceptand board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, suggested it to Snowden in early 2017. Lee hoped for a new approach to the perennial problem that the cybersecurity community calls the “evil maid” attack: It’s very difficult to prevent someone with physical access to your computer from hacking it.

Eventually, Lee and Snowden’s group of developers at the Freedom of the Press Foundation partnered with the security-focused nonprofit Guardian Project to build and test a software solution to that problem. “We thought, is there a way we can use a smartphone as a security device,” says Nathan Freitas, the director of the Guardian Project. “Take all the surveillance technologies in smartphones and flip them on their head, to keep watch on all the things you care about when you’re not there?”

‘Imagine if you had a guard dog you could take with you to any hotel room and leave it in your room when you’re not there.’


In practice, Haven could protect its users from more than just hands-on computer hackers; it could guard against everyone from abusive spouses to authoritarian police. In November, the groups teamed up with the Colombian activism group Movilizatorio to conduct a trial with social justice activists—a group that’s been the target of dozens of assassinations over the last year, in the fallout of tense negotiations between guerrilla groups and the country’s government. Movilizatorio founder Juliana Uribe Villegas says the app provided a key reassurance that month, for a group of 60 testers, that government or criminals agents weren’t breaking into their homes to plant surveillance equipment or, far worse, to kidnap or physically harm them.

“It’s very significant for them to know that they have tools they can use themselves when the government isn’t protecting them,” Uribe Villegas says. “It’s great to think about cybersecurity, but in countries like ours, personal security is still at the top of our list.”

Privacy First

Of course, any device that takes pictures and records audio clips in your home or office and sends them over the internet might sound more like an intolerable privacy violation than a security measure, especially for someone as privacy-sensitive as Snowden, who hasn’t even carried a mobile phone since he first became a fugitive from the US government in 2013.

Haven sends encrypted alerts when activity triggers your phone’s sensors.


But Haven takes some serious measures to prevent its surveillance mechanisms from being turned against a phone’s owner. It integrates the encrypted messaging app Signal, so that every alert, photo, and audio clip it sends to the user is end-to-end encrypted. As another safeguard, users can also configure Haven to work with the Android app Orbot, which has an option to turn your phone into a so-called Tor Onion Service—essentially, a server on the darknet. That means the Haven phone’s event log can be accessed remotely from your desktop or another phone, but only over Tor’s near-untraceable connection. In theory, that means no eavesdropper can break in to access those audio and photo snapshots of your sensitive spaces.

“Now you can take this huge aggregation of sensors available on any phone today—accelerometers, light sensors, cameras, microphones—and make it work for you and only you,” Snowden says. He notes that despite his personal avoidance of carrying a smartphone, even he has used Haven in hotel rooms while traveling and at home, albeit only with some additional precautions that he declined to fully detail.

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A Prepper’s Guide to Cold Weather Gear: 10 Must-Haves to Stay Warm in the Harshest of Conditions


by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece is akin to a checklist with a few extra suggestions you can use to prepare for the coming of the cold weather before it arrives.  In past articles, we talked about the necessity of having go/GOOD/Bug-out bags packed seasonally.  Those preps for the seasonal changes are critical and can mean the difference between life and death when the need arises.

Read The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Training Guide for more information on surviving in extreme weather conditions.

A Prepper’s Guide to Cold Weather Gear

Let’s cover some of the important concepts of gearing up for the Fall and winter.

Proper sleeping bag: remember to switch off those lighter summer bags for a winter-weather/extreme cold weather sleeping bag, preferably with a Gore-Tex cover. Don’t forget a good, reliable ground pad to rest on…remembering the importance in preventing conduction (the passage of body heat into the ground, and cold from the ground into the body).

Gore-Tex “Monster”: That’s right! Become the Gore-Tex Monster!  You need a good Gore-Tex top and pants to protect you from the cold and the moisture.  Gore-Tex breathes and it is reliable. They have Gore-Tex jackets too. Just remember not to lean too close to the stove or the fire and melt it. Read more on what to wear in the harshest of environments.

Footgear/Thermals/Socks: All of these are vital to winter weather preparedness. Make sure that you pack heavy socks and have at least one change of each packed in a waterproof bag and stuffed in your pack. Read more about protecting your feet and how important it is.

Foods to pack: Stick with dried and dehydrated stuff, such as jerky, dehydrated vegetables, and fruits. The canned stuff is tough to protect from a freeze.  The dehydrated stuff can be reconstituted easily enough with water.  If you have snow, you have water.  Don’t forget “Vitamin R” …that’s Ramen!  Pasta is great stuff for a base and some carbs.  Load up also on vitamin c and multivitamins in your pack.

ORS: Oral Rehydration Solutions. I wrote a good bit about them in past pieces.  These guys are the next best thing to an IV and you don’t even need a catheter.  Dehydration is a biggie in the cold months…this is because people become cold and they naturally shy away from drinking water.  Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration.

Fire starting equipment: waterproof matches, lighters, and material to start it with. Another option is to buy a “fire log” and saw it/cut it down into manageable pieces.  That’s what Firestarter is that you buy from all these “pioneers” such as Coleman for 3 or 4 dollars.  The Fire-log costs you a little more and then supplies you with enough material for 100 of those Coleman packages.

First Aid supplies: remember that things freeze. Not alcohol!  There are your disinfectant pad and any kind of stuff for sanitation.  Also, pack some hand warmers to warm up IV fluids if you ever give one in the fall or winter.  It’ll take away the shock of that cold fluid hitting into your patient.  Also for thawing out water or IV bags if needed. Read more on requirements for cold weather injuries.

For water, if you’re going to be out for extended periods of time, you may wish to empty some of the water out of your canteens for if it freezes to prevent canteens from splitting (although I’ve never seen this with military issue canteens. During the winter months, I carry stainless steel canteens from WWII and fill them up ¾ of the way.  Should it freeze, then I’d just set it on the coals and thaw it out.

Radios: check out your commo gear and make sure your batteries are fresh with spares packed.

Ammo, knives, and weapons: safeguard and make sure (the former) is packed with protection from plastic bags. The latter two: ensure they’re cleaned and coated with a good coating of oil and fully operational.

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